Sunday, May 08, 2011

Hillary Clinton Removed from Iconic Photo by Hasidic Newspaper


A big hat-tip to Failed Messiah (who gave a hat-tip to Critical Minyan) for breaking the news that an Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish newspaper, Der Tzitung, has determined that the photo of top U.S. leaders receiving an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden was too scandalous.


What was so offensive about the image? U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in the photo and, based on good intel, the editor of Der Tzitung discovered that she is a woman. The Hasidic newspaper will not intentionally include any images of women in the paper because it could be considered sexually suggestive. The iconic photo shows President Obama, Vice President Biden, and members of the U.S. National Security Team in the Situation Room of the White House. Secretary of State Clinton, wearing a long-sleeved suit jacket, sits with her hand over her mouth. I'm not sure how Der Tzitung determined this was a racy photo. Perhaps they just don't like the idea of a woman with that much political power.


Der Tzitung Photophopped Hillary Clinton out of the photo, thereby changing history. To my mind, this act of censorship is actually a violation of the Jewish legal principle of g'neivat da'at (deceit). I wrote about this subject a year ago following the Flotilla debacle in Israeli waters outside Gaza when the Reuters news agency doctored photos that it published by removing weapons from individuals aboard the Mavi Marmara. The doctoring of photographs like this is referred to as "Fauxtograpphing." I'm curious to hear how Der Tzitung responds to its attempt to remove Hillary Clinton from this iconic photo and thereby from this historic event.

This official photograph was released from the White House and includes the following disclaimer after the caption: "This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House."

15 comments:

Religion and State in Israel said...

Let's not forget that Audrey Tomason, Director for Counter-terrorism (standing in rear) was also 'photoshopped' out of history.

Anonymous said...

They also cropped the other woman from the back of the room out -- not just Clinton.

Doran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Comrade Svilova said...

I don't think it has anything to do with whether the image itself seems sexualized ... women ARE sex, so any photograph of a woman is sexualized, according to some groups. It makes me sad when I see my Chasidic friend and women she knows working so hard to counteract the fact that they are always considered sexualized and tempting, no matter what they do...

Anonymous said...

how dare you talk down to other sects of Jews as you have. It's bad enough for this blog, but you're quoted on yahoo.com for the world to see the lack of sensitivity you have towards your brothers and sisters, while I am sure as a Rabbi you continue to preach "veahavta l'reacha kamocha" (hopefully). Have you consulted with any major poskim about this sensitive topic? Or do you deem yourself to be worthy of convicting your brethren of gneivat daat? I am sure you will pass this aside as just a crazy "blogger" sharing his/her "extreme" opinion, but maybe you can stop and think instead about trying to bridge our nation together instead of self-righteously tearing us apart.

Roxy said...

Thank you from women everywhere for acknowledging what absolute crap this is.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. You are not dividing our nation but you are making sure that extemist in our midst do not use Torah to highjack our tradition and keep our people hostage of a fundamentalist minority. THNK YOU!

FYI said...

Just FYI the picture is a work of an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Therefor they have no authority do state whether the photo can be manipulated or not.

I am not saying they should or should not have done so, just that the "terms of use" that they stated are not valid.

Anonymous said...

Please note that according to Daniel Sieradski the story was first "broken" here: http://theantitzemach.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_04.html
>> Arieh Lebowitz

Anonymous said...

While I disagree with the altering of the photo, I don't think it is g'neveit daat (GD). GD would be when they are trying to trick people into thinking something not true. The hasidic jews know that there are women in government, including as secratary of state. Also, does it really matter which officials were there or not?
On another point, like it or not, as a conservative rabbi, your opinions have absolutely no authority in the ultra-orthodox world. Do you really think blogging about this is going to change them in any way? In my opinion, all it does is score political points with those already in your camp. Additionally, airing your problems about other sects of Judaism in a public domain only serves to make people think badly about Jews as a whole. The anti-semite doesn't differentiate between the "enlightened" Jew and the Ultra-Orthodox "lunatics". To them, we are all "those Jews". WHether or not you agree with them, we should admire their convictions and not publicly bash other "members of the tribe".

Rabbi Jason Miller said...

For those who think it was appropriate and within their rights for the Haredi newspaper to alter the image, what about when it comes to art?

When the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv (Bet Ha-Tefutzot) first opened they prominently displayed a large reproduction of the famous painting by Maurice Gottlieb of Jews praying on Yom Kippur in an Amsterdam synagogue, but they cut out the women who were next to the men in the original painting.

It took quite a big flap to get them to restore the image the way it was painted. They were apparently trying to placate some Orthodox concerns.

David said...

Chabad is a acts as a missionary in our Brooklyn community. They perform outreach in many ways, the most significant being their affordable, and apparently high quality, day-care centers and preschools. As a non-orthodox Jew, it is absolutely my business to know about this sort of thing. Without blogs like this, I'd have no idea.

For me, this raises the following question: Who would send their child to a school run by a group who hates women so much as to edit them out of the world (not just history, history is interpreted, the photograph is reality)? Chai Tots, and the like, may be cheaper, but it's not worth it. My daughter will confront misogyny many times in her life, but she doesn't need to start at age 3.

If the heredim want to be left along, fine: stop proselytizing. They can't proselytize and then complain when their extreme views are highlighted by Jews for their fellow Jews.

One last thing. The paper's "apology" indicated that the photo editor did not read the "fine print":

"Our photo editor realized the significance of this historic moment, and published the picture, but in his haste he did not read the 'fine print' that accompanied the picture, forbidding any changes"

[source: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/09/religious-paper-cuts-clinton-from-iconic-photo/]

Validating terms of use is an essential part of a editors job (my wife clears photo permissions for a living; this isn't obscure stuff). If the apology were not disingenuous, the newspaper would have removed the photo editor.

jamssx said...

Don't forget they also made the city remove a cycle lane because a woman might cycle by in tight clothes. It much better for the woman to risk death while cycling in tight clothes.

Anonymous said...

I think they should be sued by the "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" If you cant report the truth you shouldnt be reporting at all.
I hope "GOD" will judge them for the visual lies they are creating!!! How do they think they got here on earth.... from two people having "SEX".... so wouldnt that make you yourself a sin,printing more sins.... sounds like the "devil" at work. I think you people are very sad, no respect!!! Religion is another form of "RACISM" becuse of the lack of respect for others. The word of God is Love,...Not Lie's!

Anonymous said...

Idiotic behaviour, no matter what the reason.
So Old Testament.